Melba Kayak April 12th, 2018 - 13:10:19
Of course, adding a quality rack system to a SUV or Mini Van will offer the most room for accessories and carrying capacity. Note: Its OK if the bars extend out past the roof. According to the law, they can extend as wide as your side-view mirrors. On tall vehicles this works well, on shorter ones make sure you wont be hitting your head on the ends of the bars when you enter or exit the vehicle. Pickup Trucks Nothing is easier than strapping a kayak into the bed of a pickup and hitting the road. If the kayak is hanging over the end of your tailgate you must hang a flag on it for safety. Another option which makes this method of transport safer and more practical is a bed extender. An extender is a device that plugs into a standard 2- hitch mount and will give you up to 4 more of support under your kayak. (An extender can also be reconfigured to support your kayak over the bed, with one end resting on the cab roof and the other on the extender in the vertical position.)
Cons: Pads usually dont have a lot of cushion and can dent some kayaks if transported with the hull down or if you over tighten the tie-down straps. Cradles and Saddles: A very popular way to carry a kayak designed to carry the kayak right side up (just like it is on the water). Some examples of these are the Thule Set-To-Go and the Malone Seawing. Pros: These tend to keep kayak in place and protect the hull from damage. These systems usually work well with other pieces of equipment that aid in getting your kayak on your vehicle like rollers and glide pads (we will discuss these later). Cons: These set-ups are designed to transport your kayak right side up, not the ideal way to avoid distortion, but with care this will not be an issue. Also, if you are going to transport 2 kayaks, cradles do limit the usable space on your rack bars. J-Carriers: These work by carrying your kayak(s) on their side in J-shaped racks.
Lift Assist Accessories: Companies now make accessories to help you get your kayak unto your roof. One such product is the Hullavator by Thule, this hydraulic assist rack folds down the side of the vehicle where the kayak is loaded at waist height and the whole thing folds back onto the roof with the aid of mechanical assistance - Nice! Weve had many customers tell us that without this system they wouldnt have been able to continue kayaking because of physical limitations brought on by age or injury. Sure its expensive, but worth every penny. Roller Loader: This little device works to help you get your kayak up on your vehicle. It basically is a dolly that suctions on to the back of your vehicle and you just roll the kayak on or off. A very low-tech option that works particularly well with mini-vans, SUVs and station wagons is a rubber backed bathmat. Just to place the mat (with rubber backing down - so it wont slide) on the rear of the vehicle and place one end of the kayak on the mat and slide onto the rack. Here is a video clip of a kayak being loaded using a bathroom mat.
If you decide on a single (solo), make sure that it has enough storage capacity for whatever gear you are going to need and bring along. Space shouldnt be much of an issue for just afternoon kayaking, but if youre going to take long trips with your kayak (camping/fishing), adequate cargo capacity must be available. Dont forget about your seating needs you want it to be comfortable and supportive. Whitewater kayakers prefer a snug fit, while touring kayakers prefer something with more room, allowing room to stretch and change positions on longer trips. Check out kayaks that come with upgrade seating if you can afford it. Available Options A spray skirt, deck fittings, flotation bags and a handy holder for your water bottle are all options to consider. Having the right options can make a difference in your kayaking enjoyment.